To The Student Replacing Posters At IU, "Consent" Is Not A Buzzword

To The Student Replacing Posters At IU, "Consent" Is Not A Buzzword

And to the people who laughed at it.
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To the person who replaced Indiana University It's On Us' Sex and Consent posters with fake ones --

Maybe you were part of the 1-3 percent of perpetrators who are wrongly accused. Maybe you’re a man who was once assaulted and are angry with the very, very false stigma that men cannot be victims. Maybe you had a somewhat understandable reason.

Odds are you didn’t.

Even in a world where so many things are disagreed upon, I would hope sexual assault wouldn’t be something still up for public debate. Victims’ and survivors’ trauma is not your joke, nor is it political. I would think support for survivors and opposition towards rapists would be the one thing people from all backgrounds could agree upon.

Turns out, I thought wrong. Let’s break this down.

First of all, consent is not a “generic buzzword that we use to shove our own personal brand of feminism down your throat.” Consent is what separates a non-rapist from a rapist -- plain and simple. It is not something you "'loose' the moment that one chick from the party you had last night 'relizes' she has to explain to her boyfriend why she had sex with nearly five guys." Only about two percent of rape accusations are determined to be false – about the same amount as any other felony. On the flip-side, about 99% of accused rapists walk away free. This leaves a huge, inexcusable middle ground in which victims' rapists never see consequences for their actions, which leads to fewer reports.

Therefore, "your say in the whole thing" DOES matter because if it didn't, 99.4% of victims wouldn't have to live their lives knowing that their rapist is walking free while they suffer trauma that may last a lifetime.

Some say "attention whores" destroy careers. Apparently, the odds aren't in your favor for that, either, because a man who was recently attacked by the claims of at least THIRTEEN "attention whores" is now called President.

Consent is now a very promoted idea, especially on college campuses. I understand your frustration with the technicalities of it, but if you are a respectable person you should want to make sure your partner is enjoying themselves. Often an assaulted person does not resist or specifically say "no" because they are too intoxicated to make conscious decisions. They may also completely shut down as a coping mechanism, or are scared of what would happen if they resist.

Consent isn't really difficult or complicated. You should want to get consent anyways out of respect and some amount of care for the person you're with.

In regards to the closing statement, "Indiana University does not tolerate any differences in opinion. If you disagree with us, you are a dead mother fucker," I have one statement: it should be obvious to disagree with rape, and your comments on the matter reveal your character.

As a woman in college, I have long been cognizant of the existence of rape culture. I have heard the comments and seen the sneers. I have been grabbed and teased in a way that sounded more like a threat than a joke. I have felt shame for things that were not my fault. I have listened as others tell me their stories; some of my friends are victims and survivors. Rape culture is very real, and a very valid concern for all colleges and students.

The It's On Us campaign does wonderful things to protect college students across the country. I have been a member of our campus' It's On Us affiliated club since the very first week of my freshman year. I am proud of the progress we have made, and this event has been a sobering reminder of how far we still have left to go.

I have faith that we will persist, and despite these trials, we will prevail.

Cover Image Credit: Heather Willard

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I Won't Forgive The Anti-Semitic Students Of Spain Park, Not Yet

Maybe it isn't time for an apology.

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I am Jewish. It is something I have never been afraid of and something I value as much in life as I do with my family and friends. Throughout my life, though I have witnessed hate of the Jewish people and jokes made about Jewish people.

In high school, I had to listen to jokes about Jews and the gas chambers and was asked because I was Jewish if I could do someone else's math homework.

To say I had to deal with anti-Semitism in the South does not come close to describing what I had to go through. As time went by the jokes stopped and I thought I would not have to deal with instances of prejudice or bigotry but I was wrong. Growing up as one of the only Jewish people in my friend group and in high school it made me consider myself strong and ready for college but in my freshman year I had to go through other jokes about my religion and even in sophomore year had to witness someone I thought was my friend make a joke about my religion because "he thought it was funny."

I let the instances of anti-Semitism serve as times when I could prove people wrong I learned to forgive and forget.

But I had to witness other acts of hate towards Judaism while in college. From swastikas on a fraternity house, a synagogue shooting, the BDS movement and more hate speech, the hate towards Jews have seemed to grow and I do not understand why. I get hurt each time I hear of an instance but it has not allowed me to view my Judaism any differently. However, there was an occurrence that has affected me in a different way.

It happened in my home state and it has not sat well with me.

On Monday a video surfaced of multiple high school students making anti-Semitic and anti-Black comments. The video featured a guy turning around the camera multiple times to show he was laughing and thought it was funny while others made comments about concentration camps, what would happen if Jews ruled the world and asking what the world would be like without the Holocaust. The students were from Spain Park in Birmingham and have gathered quite a reputation online.

To say I am filled with anger, disappointment, and embarrassment is an understatement.

This is my home state and these students are not only disrespecting the Jewish and Black people in the state of Alabama but throughout the US and possibly even in the world. I am hurt by this instance but I am not ready to forgive these students just yet.

After the video was leaked online some of the students sent messages to the person who uploaded the video apologizing. That I took as a mature gesture until I read the apology from the girl in the video. The apology asked if the user could remove the video because it would ruin her life and reputation. It was later found out that the female student is the daughter of the manager of the Toyota dealership in Hoover after the manager posted an apology.

Any remorse I had going for these students was now gone.

They were not sorry. They were sorry that they got caught and were facing consequences. They gave the apology that your parents made you say when you did not want to apologize. They did not care about who they had harmed or what they had said, they cared because they had to face consequences and they know that this mistake would follow them for the rest of their life.

I'm at a loss for words.

I don't know how to feel. I know someone will tell me I am overreacting but how am I supposed to approach this? What they said was wrong and there is no proper way to express frustration for it. I know people get offended by certain things but some things are not meant to be a joke. So I hope what you said was worth it and was fun to say because it will follow you for the rest of your life. Some lessons are best-learned overtime and it looks like you will have a chance to reflect on these events.

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